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Lifestyle Photography for Beginners

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Michael Moodie
  By Michael Moodie
Lifestyle Photography for Beginners www.sleeklens.com

As Photographers or creatives we are often able to speak a visual language as we create stories, or moods rather, with images we take on a day to day basis. This could be considered Lifestyle Photography whereas through a series of images we tell a story that may encourage a viewer or viewers to want to live that particular story also.

Make no mistake; Lifestyle Photography branches off into different categories i.e. not just people. You may find yourself sometimes doing Landscape shots, Food Photography, Fashion Photography or even Content Photography. Therefore one could say that Lifestyle Photography is very diverse in nature. For example, as a Lifestyle Photographer, my portfolio ranges from shots of people to food, buildings, and breathtaking landscape views, all of which capture a very particular moment in time. These moments in time then form a story of my adventures traveling to different places and experiencing new and exciting things. Lifestyle Photography for me portrays who I am and .. I am Tarzan, Just kidding. I am more of a free spirit which expresses himself through photography. I find that Lifestyle Photography flows better when you let things happen naturally rather than always planning and over thinking them. Let the ideas come to you and not the other way around. In other words, if you are trying to create a story of your personal Lifestyle as Photographer, you’ll find yourself achieving the best images just going with the flow and following your creative sense and not letting it be forced.

I find that Lifestyle Photography flows better when you let things happen naturally rather than always pre-planning and over thinking them. Let the ideas come to you and not the other way around. In other words, if you are trying to create a story of your personal Lifestyle as Photographer, you’ll find yourself achieving the best images just going with the flow and following your creative sense and not letting it be forced.

When doing taking Lifestyle shots in your day to day adventures always remember that most times, the BEST shots are those that were never in the plan. Candids can become gold when shooting a human subject. If the subject is inanimate, you’re creative sense of exploiting the beauty or uniqueness in that subject comes into play. Always be prepared and have your camera ready ahead of time when heading out on any escapades. I usually carry around my 50mm f/1.8 or 35mm f/1.4 for my Canon due to their low aperture to capture great shots indoors and size, absorbing all that light and also giving me a great focal length to capture my subject. Of Course, you wouldn’t want to be in a setting where you’re trying to capture a candid shot of something or someone and find yourself pulling out a huge lens, capturing the attention of your subject or of others leading to the shot being ruined. Your “Nifty Fifty” as I like to call it and your 35mm f/1.4 will come in handy throughout the day and night as these lenses will absorb as much light as possible in low light situations. Even if you don’t need that much light being absorbed, you can simply bump up your aperture or shutter speed and quickly capture your shot. Always remember you’re creating a story through your images and also setting a tone.

Of course Lifestyle moments can also be captured outside too, however the “Nifty Fifty” or 35mm f/1.4 primes lenses may not help you in capturing those desired shots. When shooting lifestyle Images outdoors whether it be Landscape or Fashion oriented shots, here are a few lenses that would be helpful for both Canon and Nikon users:

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM Standard Zoom Lens
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

And for Nikon users:

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8G ED Standard Zoom Lens

Due to the fixed focal length of the Nifty Fifty and the 35mm f/1.4 , you don’t want to be caught in a situation where your subject is too far and you’re unable to capture your desired image.

In Lifestyle photography, you will learn to embrace the imperfections around you and make them perfect. Though as photographers we would like to capture the perfect lighting or position, there is beauty in imperfections. The goal is to capture that very second in time where the emotions or actions you saw through your viewfinder is exactly what inspired to you to press that shutter button. Even when planning a Lifestyle shoot or if you’re seeking to create a Lifestyle mood or vibe in your images, keep in mind that everything shows in the images you take. For example when trying to evoke happiness or a sense that the picture is candid, you should put effort into making your subject comfortable with you the photographer. You will surely see discomfort or a feeling that the emotion trying to be evoked in the image is fake and not sincere if the subject is not comfortable. Take into consideration the interests of the subject during your shoot and capitalize on those, subconsciously making them become themselves and not trying to be something or someone they are not. Try not to direct, but rather observe your subject and capture them in their own element, making the memory and image itself accurate.

Each image you take will be a memory in time. A fraction of a second where you took a shot for a reason and when you look back on these images you’ve taken you will be able to see the story you’ve told and inspire others to create their own story as well or mimic yours.

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Michael Moodie
Michael Moodie is a Freelance Photographer and Photojournalist. He Enjoys Lifestyle Photography and Traveling while doing all things creative!

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